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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin

Volume 26. 1878

$125.00 (R)

Part of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin

  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108475402

$ 125.00 (R)

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About the Authors
  • This volume is part of the definitive edition of letters written by and to Charles Darwin, the most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century. Notes and appendixes put these fascinating and wide-ranging letters in context, making the letters accessible to both scholars and general readers. Darwin depended on correspondence to collect data from all over the world, and to discuss his emerging ideas with scientific colleagues, many of whom he never met in person. The letters are published chronologically: volume 26 includes letters from 1878, the year in which Darwin with his son Francis carried out experiments on plant movement and bloom on plants. Francis spent the summer at a botanical research institute in Germany; and father and son exchanged many detailed letters about his work. Meanwhile, Darwin tried to secure government support for attempts by one of his Irish correspondents to breed a blight-resistant potato.

    • The narrative introduction provides a compact but highly readable account of Darwin's life in 1878
    • Complete transcriptions of more than 580 letters Darwin wrote and received in the year 1878 are of immense value to researchers across a range of disciplines, providing for the first time primary materials on this period of Darwin's life and work
    • Clear and concise explanatory notes make the material accessible to both scholars and general readers
    • A biographical register provides brief biographical notes for people mentioned in the letters
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In the letters of a single year, both to and from Darwin, edited with consummate scholarship and a nice sense of balance in the footnotes, which illuminate without overwhelming the text, the small points build into a picture. Darwin himself appears in close-up from the intimate angles of everday life, while through the correspondence the changing temper of the times reverberates. …  the large questions are never far away. Evolution itself and the working out of evolutionary theory pervade the letters as they pervaded the age.' Rosemary Hill, London Review of Books

    'The context of each letter is outlined with fine footnotes, there is a brief biography of all correspondents and a thorough, easily searchable index. Pleasure guaranteed for all with an interest in the history of science.' Paul Ashton, The Biologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108475402
    • length: 814 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 163 x 48 mm
    • weight: 1.36kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of letters
    List of provenances
    Note on editorial policy
    Darwin/Wedgwood genealogy
    Abbreviations and symbols
    The correspondence
    Appendix I. Translations
    Appendix II. Chronology
    Appendix III. Diplomas
    Appendix IV. Reviews of Forms of flowers
    Manuscript alterations and comments
    Biographical register and index to correspondents
    Notes on manuscript sources

  • Author

    Charles Darwin


    Frederick Burkhardt, American Council of Learned Societies
    Frederick Burkhardt (1912–2007), the founder of the Darwin Correspondence Project, was President of Bennington College, Vermont (1947–57), and President of the American Council of Learned Societies (1957–74). Before founding the Darwin Correspondence Project in 1974, he was already at work on an edition of the papers of the philosopher William James. He received the Modern Language Association of America's first Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters in 1991, the Founder's Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History in 1997, the Thomas Jefferson Gold Medal of the American Philosophical Society in 2003 and a special citation for outstanding service to the history of science from the History of Science Society in 2005.

    James A. Secord, University of Cambridge
    James A. Secord has served as Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project since 2006. He is also Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ's College. Besides his work for the Darwin Project, his research focuses on the history of science from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. His book, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (2001) won the Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society. He has recently written on scientific conversation, scrapbook-keeping and public scientific displays.

    The Editors of the Darwin Correspondence Project, University of Cambridge

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